Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday slammed the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over the alleged suicide by a farmer in Muzaffarnagar, saying that the Yogi Adityanath dispensation now does not mention a word about the non-payment of sugarcane dues to farmers.
A farmer committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar Pradesh allegedly due to non-procurement of his sugarcane produce amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, according to his family.
Tagging a media report on the incident, Priyanka Gandhi tweeted, “Seeing his sugarcane crop drying in the field and not getting the slip, a sugarcane farmer from Muzaffarnagar committed suicide.”
The BJP claimed that full payment would be given in 14 days, but the sugar mills have been closed with payment worth thousands of crores of rupees still due, she said.
“I had brought it to the notice of the government two days ago. Imagine the plight of these sugarcane farmers families not getting their dues during this financial crisis. But now the BJP government does not even mention a word about the payment of sugarcane dues within 14 days,” the Congress general secretary in charge of UP East said.
The suicide triggered a protest by farmers who demanded that a case be registered against sugar mill officials for failure to procure sugarcane from farmers.
The angry farmers staged a road blockade and refused to cremate the body till their demands were met.
Ompal Singh, a resident of Sisoli village in the Bhaura kalan police station area, had left home for his fields on Thursday (June 4) and later in the day, his body was found hanged from a tree.
His family told the police that he had been depressed over inability to sell his sugarcane produce due to the lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus. Authorities, however, denied the claim that he committed suicide due to non-procurement of his sugarcane produce.
District Magistrate Selvakumari J said preliminary investigations revealed that the farmer killed himself due to a family dispute over land.
The district magistrate asserted that there had been no stoppage in the procurement of sugarcane by mills.
Police have sent the body for post-mortem and begun a probe.
As the protest by farmers continued, leaders of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, including its national secretary Rajpal Balyan and former Uttar Pradesh minister Yograj Singh, joined them.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Naresh Tikait said that farmers have been facing great financial problems and not getting proper cost of their produce due to the lockdown.
Tikait demanded complete waiver of electricity bill and other dues of farmers.
(With inputs from agencies)